31 December 2017

Splash - December 2017

What better place to take a December splash than a nursery with rows and rows of Christmas trees, right?  Right!  The Ball Team dressed in Christmas reds and greens and white, so off we went - to tresspass on the nursery property.  But, no trees were harmed in the taking of these pictures.

 Charlotte and her bud, Julie.  Tree huggers!

There were holes in the ground where the other shrubs and trees had been cut.  Josephine planted herself.


We tried to re-create a photo from a previous photo shoot - they grow too fast.....

30 December 2017


 So, this happened.  I'm not a fan of the snow.  It's pretty, but, that's all I'll give you.  I've never tried skiing.  Why?  'Cause you need snow.  I do like the Winter Olympics, though.

So after Christmas break, we had a snow break.  The kids were home from school for three days.  Everyone had lots of time to catch up on Netflix.
The sunset from our back door.

This is Evan.  He just crawled out of the back hatch of Rachel's car, which just landed in a snow drift.  She hit some black ice, and then went airborne til this snow embankment provided a soft place to land.  See how there are NO TRACKS behind her car.  All net.  Sheesh.  No one was hurt; the car is drive-able, but, wow.  Rachel was shaken and has new respect for driving in snow.

26 December 2017

Christmas, 2017

Christmas, to be brutally honest, is not my favorite time of year.  James misses his mother and brother.  I miss my Dad.  I miss the traditions of having little little ones at home.  I do enjoy the older kids' new sense of obligations - they feel like they should get their little siblings a gift, or take them out, or explain the history of the ornaments with them. 

This year saw a new tradition - although it may not be a keeper - a live tree.  The attorney I work for has a family Christmas Tree farm on the western shore, where he grew up.  Each year he invites family and friends to come cut a tree.  So, off we went.

As luck would have it - it snowed.  This made for a pretty drive and lots of slush.  Mr. Yeager's family was very welcoming to this big group of strangers in their midst.  Turns out the teens knew each other from high school - small town.  We had chili and brats and lots of hot chocolate.  They had a fire pit going and Santa handed out gifts to the kids.  It was all very nice.  Then, we picked out a tree.

The kids found a tree they liked and Mr. Yeager said, That's a big tree.  So, this nice lady with a saw cut our big tree and James dragged it down the hill.  With some help from our new friends, we tied the tree to the top of our car and headed back home.

Our tree - and our tree in his new home.  That's a big tree!

Snow is pretty.  Still not a fan.

Ornaments for our friends in AR....

Delivered by Rachel and Evan, who got a trip to Evan's parents' home for the holidays.  We missed them, but, hey, it's Christmas.  Evan's family misses him, too.

Christmas morning.

Opening gifts - Josephine and Samantha - lit.

 Later in the afternoon, mom came over and we opened her gifts.  Then we went out for Chinese food.  This is James' gift to me - but, I let everyone else come along.  Look closely in this picture - you can see Samantha catching a squash, thrown from our chef - you can't take these kids anywhere.
And more antics for Josephine - the chef called this baby sake.  She said it was lemonade - I love the look on mom's face - never a dull moment with this bunch.  Merry Christmas; God bless us, every one.

11 December 2017

Random Photos

I have no real story behind these photos, but, they are a story.  Daily snaps of our lives, moods situations, impressions.  That's life.  And snapchat.
Samantha and Rachel, snapchatted. (August 2017)

Charlotte and Samantha, snapchatted. (August 2017)

Josephine, snapchatted. (August 2017)

Charlotte and Josephine, snapchatted. (August 2017)

Josephine, taken by Charlotte. (August 2017)

Charlotte on snapchat. (September 2017)

Josephine on snapchat. (September 2017)

Samantha on snapchat. (August 2017)

JMichael, just pure JMichael. (August 2017)
Ball Team

29 November 2017

Splash - November 2017

November's splash was taken at JMichael's soccer game.  His team had a great season  - they only lost two games, which were both to the same team.  This photo was just after the championship game, under the lights, at Worton Park.  They played well, and even led the first half, but, in the end, they lost 5 to 3.  JMichael was happy to be a part of his new team and started every game.  He and three other boys made up the offensive line and they had some great passes and scores.  On to next season.

26 November 2017

Thanksgiving, 2017

Thanksgiving.  Here we all are.  This year I did not cook.  Like, at all.  Eric and Abbey invited us down, with Mom, to their house for Thanksgiving weekend.  It was fantastic.  We all went to the Hebron Fire Hall to eat with about fifty other people - Abbey's side of the family.  There was enough food to easily feed everyone and enough leftovers in the Fire Hall fridge to feed the volunteers for days.  Abbey's aunt even had to go trays so we could all take our favorite dishes home, too.  Sweet potato biscuits, loaded mashed potatoes, hams, stuffing, sausages, salad, mac-n-cheese, cranberry sauce, all the fixings.  It was delicious.  We spent the evening at Eric's watching football.  The ladies all went out that night - at my insistence - to try black Friday shopping, on Thursday night.  It was an epic fail.  Lines were unbelievably long, and it turns out that the xBox One i thought I had found for such a good price was available on Amazon for the same deal. Abbey ordered it right there in the middle of Kohl's and we headed home.  Friday we made Christmas wreaths and plates and ate leftovers.  The boys put up Eric's Christmas tree and the ladies decorated it.  We strung their lights, hung the holly and headed home late Friday evening.  What a great way to be together - eating, creating, and celebrating.

19 November 2017

Tom Petty lives

Actually, no.  Tom Petty died earlier this month.  James and I saw Tom Petty in concert last year, and I'm so glad we did.  Tom died too early.

So one Sunday night, we were all at home.  Well, Evan was at work, but, Rachel and Samantha were in the basement.  Charlotte and Josephine were on screens.  JMichael, James and I were watching football.  James' phone rang and it was Evan.  He said he had a co-worker who had four tickets to see Damn the Torpedoes, a Tom Petty cover band, in Baltimore.  Tonight.  Wanna go?

James emphatically answered, absolutely.  So, Rachel Samantha, James and I headed headed off for a spontaneous night of adventure.  We found the venue in downtown Baltimore and we were all thoroughly impressed with the band.  They really did Tom justice.  Amazing.  Thank you, Evan, and your co-worker (who was sick and couldn't go) for treating us to a fun night out.

On a side note, I was very proud of Rachel and Samantha.  They knew the lyrics and sang and danced and had a great time.